Trivia

If you know the local lingo (Doric) in North-east Scotland, you will appreciate that the shortcut to this page is www.michty.me.uk
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The name for prime beef the world over


Aberdeen Angus (known as Black Angus in America) is known the world over as one of the best beef breeds of cattle.
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Rice, coffee and cocoa machinery


William MacKinnon & Son of Aberdeen were leading manufacturers of race coffee and cocoa plantation machinery for the global market.
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We’re not unique


More than 30 places around the world have adopted the name Aberdeen.
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Comedy


Graeme Garden, TV personality and one of the trio on the zany cult programme Goodies, comes from Aberdeen. Homegrown talent includes the Scotland the What trio and now the Flying Pigs.
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Burgesses


The first surviving Royal Charter for Aberdeen’s Burgesses of Guild was granted by William the Lion in 1179. In 2015 the Burgesses celebrated the 800th anniversary of the Alexander II charter which gave them sole right to form a guild.
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Britain’s oldest business


Aberdeen Harbour Board, whose records go back to 1136, is said to be Britain’s oldest business.
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Star Trek in Aberdeen?


Star Trek’s Scotty says in the script that he was “an old Aberdeen pub crawler” in the episode “The Wolf in the Fold”. James Doohan, who played Scotty, based his accent on an Aberdonian he met training in Yorkshire during World War II.
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Broadband use


The Office of National Statistics, in 2015 Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire had the second highest rate of broadband usage in the UK, just behind Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
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Aberdeen Granite


As well as building much of the famous Granite City in Aberdeen, the city's granite famously was used in constructing Waterloo Bridge in London, the terrace of the Houses of Parliament in London, and the Forth Bridge.
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World’s 2nd biggest granite building


Marischal College, with its intricate granite frontage, is the second largest granite building in the world. A testament to the skill of Aberdeen’s stonemasons it is now the HQ for Aberdeen City Council.
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Biggest man-made hole in Europe


Rubislaw Quarry in Aberdeen, was where much of the granite for the city and further afield was quarried. It is said to be the largest man-made hole in Europe, now filled with water and ringed with oil industry offices.
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Oldest transport company


The Shore Porters Society has a documented history that goes back to 1498. Still in business, it is the world’s oldest documented transport business in the world.
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Breach Loading Rifle


The breach-loading rifle was invented by Aberdeenshire man Patrick Ferguson.
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Pneumatic tyres invented in Aberdeenshire


The pneumatic tyre was invented by Robert Thomson of Stonehaven in 1845.
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Forbes Magazine


Forbes magazine was founded by Aberdeenshire journalist BC Forbes. The ancestral home of the Forbes family is Castle Forbes, on the banks of the River Don, near Alford.
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Mashable began in Aberdeen


Mashable’s first office was in Aberdeen. Pete Cashmore – who was brought up in Banchory, Aberdeenshire – founded the blog in Aberdeen in 2005. It is now one of the Technorati 'top 10' blogs in the world.
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MRI Scanner invented in Aberdeen


The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner was invented in Aberdeen, by a University of Aberdeen team headed by Prof John Mallard.
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Shaping modern Japan


Thomas Blake Glover, born in Fraserburgh and later living in Aberdeen, is credited as the founder of industrialised Japan, where he is a national hero. His house in Nagasaki is one of Japan's most popular tourist attractions.

Glover founded his own shipyard in Japan, which went on to become Mitsubishi. He retained strong links with Aberdeen shipyard and apprentices were sent to the city from Japan to learn.

He was responsible for commissioning the Jo Sho Maru, Hosho Maru and Kagoshima from Aberdeen shipyard Alexander Hall and Co. He also introduced the first locomotive into Japan and established the first modern coal mine.
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Tropical medicine


The so-called "Godfather of tropical medicine" Sir Patrick Manson was born in Old Meldrum in 1844. It was his work that led to the discovery that Malaria was spread by mosquitoes.
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Iron lung designed in Aberdeen


The first "iron lung", which provided support for those with breathing problems, was designed and built by Robert Henderson and the engineer at Aberdeen City Hospital in 1933.
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Lord Byron


Lord Byron, the poet, was a pupil at Aberdeen Grammar School in the 18th century.
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Longest street in Britain


King Street in Aberdeen is believed to be the longest street in Britain. The title was commonly ascribed to Duke Street in Glasgow, but King Street is 0.2 miles longer!
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Bridge of Dee


The Bridge of Dee, still one of the main entrances to the city, was built in 1527. It was widened in Victorian times. In 1639 it was the site of a battle between the Royalists and the Covenanters, a piece of history commemorated in local street names.
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Most frequently bombed town


Aberdeen was nicknamed the “Siren City” during World War II as the most frequently (but fortunately not the most heavily) bombed place in Britain.
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Annie Lennox


Singer, Annie Lennox was born and brought up in Aberdeen and is a former pupil of Aberdeen High School for Girls (now Harlaw Academy).
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Buick


David Buick, founder of the American automobile company of the same name, came from Arbroath.
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A shipbuilding centre of excellence


Aberdeen’s most famous ship was probably the clipper Thermopylae, owned by Aberdeen's White Star Line and launched in Aberdeen in 1868, sailed to Melbourne in just 60 days, breaking records on each leg of the journey.

The Cutty Sark was built the following year to compete with Thermopylae in bringing back the new season's tea from China. The Cutty Sark was twice beaten by Thermopylae.
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Biggest single-span granite arch in the world


Union Street – named for the Union of Britain and Ireland – Is actually a viaduct for much of its length. Built in the era of picks and shovels, it is built some 30 feet above ground level on huge granite arches over the Danbury Valley.

Union Bridge is the largest single-span granite arch in the world.
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Denis Law


Aberdonian Denis Law scored 237 goals in 409 appearances for Manchester United and won the European Footballer of the Year award in 1964.
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Dracula


Slains Castle, near Cruden Bay (then known as Port Errol), is said to have inspired Bram Stoker in writing Dracula.
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American States adorn Aberdeen church ceiling


The seals of the then 48 US states adorn the ceiling of St Andrew’s Cathedral in King Street. This commemorates the consecration, in Aberdeen, of America’s first Episcopal Bishop, Samuel Seabird, in 1784.
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World’s busiest civil heliport


Aberdeen International Airport is the world's busiest civil heliport serving the North Sea oil and gas industry.

It is also Britain's fourth busiest airport in terms of aircraft movements (fixed wing and helicopter), behind London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Manchester.
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One of the world’s biggest transport companies


Aberdeen’s First Group is one of the world’s biggest surface transportation companies. it has 110,000 employees and carries 2.4 billion passengers. Its operations span the UK and USA (where it operates Greyhound and First Student.
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Paul Lawrie


Aberdeen-born and bred, Paul Lawrie was the winner of the 128th Open Golf Championship at Carnousite in 1999
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Nobel Laureates


The Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen has produced three Nobel Laureates.
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Life scientists


Aberdeen has the highest concentration of life scientists in Europe.
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Brig o Balgownie


Scotland’s oldest mediaeval bridge dates from 1286 and took 40 years to complete.
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Dame Evelyn Glennie


Virtuoso percussionist, Evenlyn Glennie, who has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12, was born and brought up on a farm in Aberdeenshire.
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Carillon


The ‘Mither Kirk’, formally known as the Kirk of St Nicholas, has the largest carillon in Britain, consisting of 48 bells.
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Crombie


The cloth that clothed the the backs of the world's superpowers. The famous Crombie cloth, woven in Aberdeen, was famously worn by American presidents and Russia's politburo.
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Torry Point Battery


Built to defend the city during the Napoleonic Wars, this scheduled ancient monument was last used defensively during the World War II. After the war it was used as emergency accommodation for families.
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Sandi Thom


Born in Banff, Sandi Thom formed her first band when she was at Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen.
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The Press and Journal


Established as the Aberdeen Journal in 1747, the Press and Journal is Britain’s oldest daily newspaper.
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Football invented in Aberdeen?


That's what a 17th-century book suggests. It's said that the first written evidence of a game where the ball is passed from player to player to score goals past the goalkeeper appears in a book from Aberdeen dated 1633.
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Self-seal envelopes


The self-seal envelope was developed in Aberdeen.
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Golf


Aberdeen and North-east Scotland have more than 50 golf courses – including famous courses like Royal Aberdeen and the Trump International Golf Links.
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Jim Clark


Jim Clark, Scotland's twice world champion racing driver and one of the greatest racing drivers ever, began his motor racing career at an Aberdeeen and District Motor Club event on the Crimond race track near Fraserburgh.
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Universities


Aberdeen had two universities at the time when there were only two in the whole of England.
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Emili Sande


Singer Emili Sande was brought up in Alford. She wrote her first song while at school in the Aberdeenshire town.
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